Student Applications Now Open for First-Generation Mentoring Program

The First-Generation Mentoring Program offers a unique opportunity to mentor freshman and sophomore students on campus.
Philip Thomas

The First-Generation Mentoring Program offers a unique opportunity to mentor freshman and sophomore students on campus.

Are you the first in your family to go to college? You are not alone! First-generation college students make up almost 25 percent of the total U of A undergraduate population, and many faculty and administrators are also first in their families to attend college.

The First-Generation Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Honors College, was developed to help first-generation freshman and sophomore students navigate life on campus by pairing them with caring faculty.

Roberto Quezada, NSF Path alum from Rogers, Arkansas, is one of the first in his family to get a college education. His faculty mentor, professor John English, then-vice chancellor for research and innovation, connected Quezada with faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering when he learned of Roberto's interest in research. Through those connections, Quezada was able to join an NSF-funded research project and spend the summer working in a lab.  

Not all student-mentor pairs lead to research — and students need not be in honors to participate. For other first-gen students, the relationship with a faculty mentor may focus on how to manage your time, bounce back from a low-test score or map out future plans.

Through at least two meetings a semester, faculty mentors can help students learn more about topics such as the following:

  • Becoming more involved on campus
  • Navigating a career path
  • Exploring study abroad opportunities
  • Becoming an honors student, if interested
  • Finding an honors research mentor
  • Balancing family/school/work
  • Learning more about community engagement

This program is open to all freshmen and sophomores — both honors and non-honors students. Students can apply using the First-Generation Mentoring Program Application. This form can also be accessed on the First-Generation Mentoring Program web page. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 15, or when all spaces are filled, whichever comes first.

Students and faculty will be informed of their matches by email. The Honors College will provide recommendations on when/how to meet you with your mentor and some guiding questions for the first conversation.

Signing up is easy — do it today! For more information contact Xochitl Delgado Solorzano, assistant dean of the Honors College, at

Faculty members interested in participating may learn more and sign up to volunteer by visiting the First-Generation Mentoring Program web page.

About the Honors College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and brings together high-achieving undergraduate students and the university's top professors to share transformative learning experiences. Each year the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman fellowships that provide $80,000 over four years, and more than $1 million in undergraduate research and study abroad grants. The Honors College is nationally recognized for the high caliber of students it admits and graduates. Honors students enjoy small, in-depth classes, and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students' academic interests, with interdisciplinary collaborations encouraged. All Honors College graduates have engaged in mentored research.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research and Economic Development News.


Shelby Gill, director of communications
Honors College


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